Key elements of quality care:
- Make the protection of service users’ autonomy a core priority.
- Facilitate choice and control over major life decisions and not just everyday
choices, seeking to increase capacity.
- Make reasonable adjustments to support decision making.
- Routinely use, offer and be receptive to alternative forms of communication.
- Meet the Accessible Information Standard.
- Provide, facilitate and/or advocate for each service user’s personal ownership
of and routine access to assistive technology.
- Have a designated member of staff (preferably a Communication Support Worker) responsible for finding the most appropriate communication systems for individuals.
- Ensure that person-centred care genuinely promotes autonomy.
- Ensure a minimum of staff variation and match staff to autistic people on
the basis of shared interests and mutual compatibility whenever possible.
- Question the intended outcome of programmes and approaches.
- Plan changes in advance whenever possible.
- Support and facilitate the development of autistic identity.
- Conduct regular sensory reviews of environments focussed on the removal of
environmental and other stressors as a priority.
- Provide appropriate sensory adaptation equipment.
- Prioritise autistic sensory needs including access to safe, appropriate ways
to meet sensory needs.
- Facilitate and accept sensory stimulation behaviours (‘stimming’).
- Ensure prompt and effective access to advocacy.
- Ensure full involvement in best interests decision-making processes.
- Recognise the risks of barriers to healthcare, ensure access to
preventive health checks and screening.
- Challenge discriminatory treatment of autistic people in health, social
care and community environments.
- Facilitate access for autistic people to the full rights of citizenship and rewarding activities to
contribute to society in ways which are meaningful to them.
- Ensure equality of access for all autistic people to technology and the internet.
- Create and sustain a rights-based approach to care.
- Actively support the right of autistic people to choose where and with whom they live on an equal basis with others in society.
- Commit to the principle that no autistic person requires long-term institutional care and make real, effective and measurable progress towards all autistic people living in the community.
- Encourage and promote positive risk taking.
- Promote a positive and accepting attitude to autistic identity and differences.
- Discourage assumptions.
- Recognise and challenge bullying.
- Treat the use of all forms of restraint as failures and aim for zero restraints.
- Don’t blame autism. ‘Challenging’ behaviours are not an inevitable consequence of autism.
- Don’t label people as ‘complex’, seek to understand and empathise with their perspective.
- Do not remove choice and control from an autistic person.
- Challenge proposals/decisions to remove an autistic person from their local community.
- Modify the environment to meet needs, look for underlying causes not just triggers.
- Work with not against the autistic person – supporting them to manage stress and recover from distress.
- Avoid focussing on behaviour ‘management’ at the expense of meeting needs.
- Support autistic people to find practical ways to meet their needs which minimise overall harm to themselves and respect the rights of others.
- Recognise when service policies, placement environments or particular staff are not the right match for an individual.
- Identify when stretched public resources are leading to short term decisions which are unlikely to be cost effective in the long term.
- Take a ‘whole life’ approach: recognising and planning well in advance for transitions throughout the lifespan.
- Be honest with autistic people about transitions and prepare.
- Recognise that uncertainty and unpredictability cause stress.
- Provide regular access to advanced, practical training (‘awareness’ is not enough).
- Ensure that training is autistic-led and/or autistic-designed rather than merely
having tokenistic involvement of autistic people.
- Provide ongoing support and development for staff which embeds relevant learning and encourages positive risk taking and focuses on human rights.
- Embed respect, appropriate boundaries and empathy for autistic perspectives.
- Avoid imposing ideas of what is ‘normal’.
- Accept choices to refrain from or withdraw from social interaction and to maintain sameness and routines, while recognising difficulties/barriers to coping with changes.
- Facilitate access to autistic-controlled space and the wider autistic community.
- Recognise autism and facilitate access to diagnosis.